Will the Real Michael Cohen Please Stand Up?

America watched Michael Cohen tell all to Congress (and the world) about Donald Trump on Wednesday, February 27th. The hearing was packed full with information that reflected badly on the president, but many are still questioning Michael Cohen’s character and credibility. Although Cohen’s testimony didn’t prove that Trump colluded with Russia, he certainly shed some light on Trump’s wrongdoings over the years. Here are a few takeaways from the hearing.

 

“He is a Racist, he is a Con Man, and he is a Cheat”

These are some heavy and accusing words that Cohen used to describe Donald Trump, but he supports these claims with evidence and anecdotes about Trump.

 

1. Trump reimbursed Cohen for hush money paid to Stormy Daniels.

Cohen brought with him a copy of one of four installments of $35,000 made out to him from Donald Trump.

 

2. Trump persuaded Cohen to lie to Congress about the dates of the Trump Tower project in Moscow that took place during Trump’s campaign (and Trump was actively involved).

“Mr. Trump knew of and directed the Trump Moscow negotiations throughout the campaign and lied about it.” -Michael Cohen

 

3. Trump knew about the 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and the Russians in New York City who were discussing information that could hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“Mr. Trump had frequently told me and others that his son Don Jr. had the worst judgment of anyone in the world. Don Jr. would never set up any meeting of any significance alone — and certainly not without checking with his father.” -Michael Cohen

 

And, last but not least…

 

4. Donald Trump was aware that Roger Stone was in talks with WikiLeaks about planning to release emails that would hurt the Democratic National Committee.

“He was a presidential candidate who knew that Roger Stone was talking with Julian Assange about a WikiLeaks drop of DNC emails.” -Michael Cohen

 

Lynne Patton

Michael Cohen cited multiple instances when Donald Trump made racist remarks, such as referring to poorer countries as “shithole countries” and saying that “black people would never vote for him because they were too stupid.” To refute Michael Cohen’s accusations, Representative Mark Meadows brought along his friend Lynne Patton, a black woman who is an employee of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a supposed friend of Donald Trump.

Patton did not actually speak, but rather stood by Meadows as he made remarks such as “You made some very demeaning comments about the president that Ms. Patton doesn’t agree with”, and “She (Ms. Patton) says that as a daughter of a man born in Birmingham, Alabama, that there is no way that she would work for an individual who was racist.” Many people, including Representative Rashida Tlaib, are accusing Meadows of using Patton as a token to prove his point.

 

Elijah Cummings’ Closing Statement

Chairman of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, made a passionate and emotional closing statement. He sympathized with Cohen and thanked him for coming to shed light on Trump. He said that Cohen’s testimony is Cohen crying out for us (America) to get back to our ‘normal’. He also repeatedly talked about the importance of keeping our democracy intact for future generations.

 

So, can Michael Cohen be trusted? Many people still aren’t sure. Cohen has pled guilty to tax evasion and lying to Congress about the 2016 Moscow Trump Tower project, offenses that will land him in prison. The claims that Cohen have made about Trump are undoubtedly a lot to unpack and carry a lot of weight in developing a narrative about Donald Trump that we already had a general idea of to begin with. Whether you believe Michael Cohen or not, it is undeniable that his testimony will play a role in Mueller’s Russia investigation and the way Americans perceive Donald Trump in 2020.